Skip to comments.“American Pie” explained. The Song By Don Mclean
Posted on 02/10/2012 5:39:54 AM PST by navysealdad
Songs like Revolution by The Beatles, which was clearly suspicious of violent revolution and uprisings, as well as American Pie by Don McLean.
Many people think that the song American Pie is about the death of Buddy Holly and other musicians in a plane crash, but Glenn presented a reading of the lyrics on radio and showed how it could also be seen as a warning against the danger of violent uprisings.
Ive never understood I drove the Chevy to the levee, I didnt know what that was. Lets just start there on the simple part because Chevy, just think of Chevy and mom and apple pie. Hes making a point here. Chevy, I drove my Chevy to the levee. This actually goes back into the 1950s and a Dinah Shore commercial for Chevy,
(Excerpt) Read more at angelfire.com ...
Maybe levee was the best word he could find to rhyme with Chevy?
Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
I think an “explanation” came out many years ago, too many to recall, so let’s hear it again.
Excellent - thanks for that - it helped tie together the bits I didn’t understand about the song
I always thought that song was about atheism taking over and destroying America. Atheism is a euphism for the anti-Christ because atheism/unbelief is anti belief = the anti Christian attitude.
In other words it is about the anti-Christ take over of America - in ideology at this point vs. the actual person of satan.
The song always creeped me out because I found it prophetic - or should I say anti prophetic because prophets interpret God/ anti-prophets interpret the anti-God.
It was a depressing song back then and still is.
If I could hear this song played with the lyrics sung in a language I am not fluent in, would I still like it?
...Eight miles high and falling fast...(McLean)
The Byrds...Eight Miles High...
Eight miles high and when you touch down
Youll find that its stranger than known
Signs in the street that say where youre going
Are somewhere just being their own
Nowhere is there warmth to be found
Among those afraid of losing their ground
Rain gray town known for its sound
In places small faces unbound
Round the squares huddled in storms
Some laughing some just shapeless forms
Sidewalk scenes and black limousines
Some living some standing alone
His answer was, "It means I'll never have to work again."
Saw a short piece on Lennon a while back and he said sometimes the words don’t mean anything.
The Grand Rapids LipDub set a new world record — lipdub to American Pie.
I found it an interesting video.
American Pie absolutely bored the hell out of me.
Iggy Pop and the Stooges was my taste at the time...
A great songwriter.
Great...now how about the lyrrics to “incense and peppermint.”
Great...now how about the lyrics to “incense and peppermint.”
I always believed that the reference to Jack Flash sitting on the candlestick was about the gay tryst between Mick Jagger and David Bowie.
The song also started the Urban Legend that the name of the plane they were on was Miss American Pie.
Note to Glenn: the marching band was the Vietnam war duh.
All I remember was how Don McLean set my little teenaged heart all a flutter.
Him, and Cat Stevens, but I am dating myself.
I tripped on a cloud and fell eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
A clear reference to the LSD craze in the late Sixties and early Seventies. We all recognized it.
Also the 8 miles high and falling fast combined w falllout shelter is the mushroom cloud and fallout or fears thereof.
Well, yeah, but what about “Vincent?”
” Saw a short piece on Lennon a while back and he said sometimes the words dont mean anything.”
Lennon famously threw words together that sounded cool.
McCartney is an airhead that can put together a pretty turn of phrase.
To think we listened in rapt attention to the “Paul is dead” theorists. While the boys were laughing all the way to the bank.
Everybody was looking for a deeper meaning in those days.
It’s a short history of rock & roll’s downward trajectory and the effect that has had on our culture.
OK, but where does the flute fit in?
Cadence and rhyme.
Hard not to miss the “america is changing” aspect of the song
It was interesting to see how the pieces fit together
I think it is against Nuclear Weapons. If not, you can definitely fit it in.
I’ve been saying that for 30 years. Clap your hands and you just caused a catastrophic event in the tiny universe on your palm.
John Fogerty said he just liked to use strange lyrics.
Perhaps the "Byrds" refers to two of the most powerful Southern Democrats from the early 1930's to the early 1980's, Senator Harry F. Byrd (D-Va.) and his son, Harry, Jr., who succeeded him. Or perhaps it could refer to the liberal Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), whose power and influence in the Senate moved Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) to call it "the Byrd Bath."
Interesting. I always lost interest in the song as it progressed as the lyrics became more obscure.
This line could also be a reference to the Nick Noble song The Bible Tells Me So. The fact that this song was a chart hit in 1955 shows how much our culture has changed--mostly for the worse--since that time.
Speaking of “hidden meanings” in songs; I seem to remember that the author of Roberta Flack’s hit “Killing Me Softly With His Song” was referring to seeing and hearing Don McLean perform one of his songs.
In a way it refers both to the Byrds and the First Edition.
The latter was doing its own reference to the Byrds song.
As I’ve heard the song over the years, it was clear to me
what was being talked about—Dylan, Stones, unrest, Beatles,
and all the stuff about the 50s and later the 60s. “The levee was dry” means he went to get water (representing—faith? hope? etc.) but could get nothing.
And how more obvious a line could he do than “The church
bells all were broken”?
"The Levee" was the name of a bar where he often went to tip a glass or two. When he went there and it was closed, he had to head up the road to a bar in Rye, NY. The good old boys in Rye were drinking whiskey.
***Buddy Holly being the inspiration for it has been the long standing and most popular explanation.***
When I first heard the song back in 1971, I immediately thought of Buddy Holly. This is before the psycho-analysists started telling everyone what it meant.
“Saw a short piece on Lennon a while back and he said sometimes the words dont mean anything.”
I read that writer had been trying to fathom some of Lennon’s lyrics. In response, John wrote “Strawberry Fields” (I am the Walrus) and said to a confidant, “Let the (bleep)er figure that one out”.
Obviously some still are. LOL
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.